Ok, I came home last night and thought – write a match report or watch some tv including the highlights? I went for the latter, mainly because it was closer to the kitchen for a cup of herbal and also at that point, I wasn’t sure I wanted to re-live the game, as it was in fairness, a relatively dull affair!
When I say dull, once the whistle blew for full time, I wasn’t at all bothered… we can bore our way all the way to picking up the Cup for all I care…!… but if you were looking for entertainment, you really were in the wrong place. Again, I repeat, the result is all that matters, MON isn’t in the entertainment game, he’s in the winning game, so last night… JOB DONE… next!
Within 3 minutes we were 1 up. John Carew went on a run, I thought he’d gone too far instead of passing over to Gabby in the box, luckily the big man knew what he was doing and as usual, my thoughts didn’t! He carried on, crossed the ball and Gabby took one of the cockiest goals he’ll ever take. To see him attempt a back heal just shows how high his confidence is and how arrogant his belief in his ability is. Arrogance and cockiness in a striker is a FANTASTIC thing by the way!
We basically cut through them like butter and I thought at that point the match had the potential to be a total rout. Nope, not Villa… we don’t do things the easy way do we?! One of these days the lads really will switch on and murder a team, I think a lot of us said the same last season. I’m sure with a bit more aggression and… no, I was going to say desire but I think that would be taking things too far, now I’m stuck, a bit more…. ‘something’ (technical football term… or cop out, you decide!) we really could push on and ravage other teams.
To be fair Cardiff City, who came with a full fan contingent who sang their hearts out (all good apart from that awful Gabby song, take the St Michael out of the players with pleasure but don’t start singing about someone’s mom ffs!) got all the men apart from (usually) Boothroyd behind the ball when we attacked and they did pass the ball about nicely themselves when they had it. I could say their only downfall was a lack of a cutting edge but having seen the highlights, they arguably had the better chances – especially after we scored – and Brad Guzan was kept busy. Also, they did actually score but it was disallowed for offside. Sorry, if that was offside then I’m Nigel Reo-Cokers wrestling trainer!
James Milner did have the chance to put us two up and the tie totally beyond Cardiff City before that but hit the post from the penalty spot. He’ll still be man enough to take the next one I’m sure.
I could ramble on a bit more if you wished but as you don’t wish I won’t! Basically, we won, job done, we are in the next round and there is no way we can’t make a real charge on actually winning this cup this season. MON made five changes and they all looked good changes, unlike last season when there weren’t any real options other than the kids (no disrespect, they’ll all get their chance at some stage) but now we have changes where the players are also worthy of first team positions. So lets hope we get a good draw in the next round, I can’t see why we should fear any team in the competition and when the FA Cup starts, lets go hell for leather for that… Oh and whilst we are at it, why not win the league as well…. ok, I just have to go too far don’t I!?
Villa need to start killing off these teams but cup ties are often scrappy and in fairness to Cardiff City, they made a very good account of themselves and Dave Jones appears to be showing once again what a very good manager he is.
I am still hoping Villa have more than a gear or two to step up as the season progresses, if we do then we have great promise, if we don’t then …..?
Brad Guzan 7
didn’t let us down when needed, which at some points was quite often.
Habib Beye 6
was told off by MON a few times for passing back but did look solid enough and made a couple of important tackles, the one showing studs was a bit too much though!
Carlos Cuellar 7
so much better in the centre, some crunching and important tackles
James Collins 7
going to be a popular player for Villa fans I think, looks solid and uncompromising
Nicky Shorey 7
I thought he had a smashing game, plenty of winding forward runs and one chance to maybe shoot and score
James Milner 6
got about plenty, put in the work, shame about the penalty miss but you can’t have everything!
Fabian Delph 6
looks promising, does look exactly as he is, a kid learning his trade but he doesn’t look overawed and certainly isn’t afraid of making tackles.
Stiliyan Petrov 6
played the holding role, passes sideways and backwards far too much but then, maybe that is what he is told to do.
Craig Gardner 5.5
probably illustrating why he isn’t starting in the Premiership. I like Gardner but …. Then again, it can’t be easy to come in from the cold and be straight up to speed?
John Carew 6
set up the goal so can’t really complain, but he didn’t look like he broke into a sweat, not yet at his best this season (which is promising as we are winning with some players nowhere near their peak form yet) Also kept coming deep which to be fair MON I think wanted him to as the boss did shout at him at one point to come into midfield to get a ball. Would much rather see him right up front terrorising defenders. Changed his mind from scoring a couple of times. Big John, don’t change your mind and pass, SHOOT!
Gabby Agbonlahor 7
starting to really look the part and that goal was brilliantly cocky.
Marc Albrighton (on for Gardner 78)
Made a few very good runs, looks like another hot prospect from the youth academy set up.
My match ratings defined
Match ratings defined: 1) Totally awful, had a mare, should be taken out and shot, 2) Dire, but not usual standard, 3) Very poor. 4) Poor, below the standard expected, 5) Average, the least expected, 6) Better than average, but in patches only, 7) Good, generally decent performance, 8) Very good, above the standard, standing out at times, 9) Excellent, stood out all match, 10) Outstanding truly commanded the match.
Image gallery on official site: www.avfc.co.uk